The Sari, Simplified

Mouldable metal and fluid drapery has always been designer Amit Aggarwal's forte. A recent showing of his latest collection at Ensemble (in Mumbai's Lion Gate), reiterated the fact. What, however, was really striking was the posse of three mannequins, clad in pre-pleated cocktail saris paired with structured blouses. Out of these, the heart-shaped blouse, with its black hue beautifully offset by the grey of the lamť sari, stood out. "It is one of my favourites," admits the designer.

A closer look at the collection revealed more, other than the fact that this is Aggarwal's first sari collection. The saris ó the pre-pleated kinds ó along with other outfits, make use of fabrics such as jerseys, chiffons, georgettes, silk and lamť. The colour palette is an interesting one with black, brown and beige dominating the line along with jewel tones such as emerald green, royal blue and coral. Aggarwal, not surprisingly, is most excited about his saris. "You can easily slip into one of these and move about comfortably. Also, while some of these are one-piece saris, the others have a separate blouse that can be teamed up with a pair of trousers and jacket," he explains.

Aggarwal has launched this self-named label after he recently quit Morphe, that he had launched in partnership with the company Creative Impex five years ago. The 31-year-old admits that he was initially apprehensive as he had never tried his hand at designing saris before this. "But I had always wanted to make saris and with the festive season around the corner, the timing was perfect," says he. In this Autumn-Winter line, he has created 18 saris along with fitting tops (they cinch around the waist when worn), dresses, monochromatic capes and anarkalis paired with churidars.

In keeping with his signature look, the use of embroidery is minimal, though the garments bear an ornate touch. "I have experimented with saris this time, but it will be a while before I do a heavy bridal line. Right now, the focus is on my capsule collection and I plan to come up with one every three months," he reveals, adding that this line is available at Ensemble stores in Mumbai and Delhi.

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